The state requires that the value be from a recognized pricing guide, applied uniformly, and as of January 1 of the tax year. To meet these requirements, Fairfax County uses the January edition of the J.D. Power’s Official Used Car Guide. For more information regarding vehicle assessments, please refer to our Vehicle Value page.
In Fairfax County, the vehicle tax on motor vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, and vans) is prorated to reflect the time the vehicle was normally garaged in the county. Upon notification that a property has been moved or sold, the DTA will adjust your account to ensure that your motor vehicle is taxed accurately.
Vehicles which are moved out of Fairfax County to a non-prorating Virginia jurisdiction during the tax year are not prorated.
There are vehicles considered for tax rate exceptions. The following are currently taxed at a rate of one cent per $100:
- Antique vehicles with antique or permanent vintage license plates
- Certified van pool vehicles
- Vehicles equipped for the transportation of persons with disabilities
- Some vehicles owned by members of volunteer fire and rescue squads and auxiliary police
- Vehicles owned by certain elderly and disabled individuals
- Aircraft and flight simulators
- Homeowner association furniture, office and maintenance equipment
- Mobile homes are taxed at the real estate tax rate
You may appeal the assessment of your vehicle if you believe it has one or more of the following conditions:
- Body damage
- Excessive mileage
Adjustments in value are most frequently made based on these conditional factors.
Most vehicles have to be registered with the Virginia DMV within 30 days of purchase or establishing residency in Virginia. Contact the Virginia DMV for more information.
Note, special rules apply to out-of-state cabs driven for personal use in Virginia, but displaying out-of-state plates. For example, a vehicle may be used as a cab in DC and display DC license plates. If however, when not in service, the vehicle is normally garaged at a Virginia residence and used in Virginia for personal use, that vehicle is subject to the county's personal property tax and is required to display dual license plates (i.e., it must display plates from both DC and Virginia at the same time). Personal use vehicles may be eligible for the Personal Property Tax Relief Act (PPTRA).
Vehicles must be registered with the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration (DTA) within 60 days of purchase or move-in to the county and are subject to the vehicle Tax. This is a separate and additional requirement from the Virginia DMV registration. A late filing penalty will be assessed on vehicles that are not registered within the 60-day deadline.
Yes, you must register within 60 days of lease or move-in to the County.
For more information regarding lease vehicle registration with Fairfax County, contact your leasing company.
You may register for the Vehicle Tax in several ways:
Your car must still be registered with Fairfax County within 60 days of purchase or move-in. It is subject to taxation by the Virginia locality in which it is normally garaged or parked.
If the vehicle is improperly displaying out-of-state plates beyond the 30-day registration requirement of state law, the vehicle is also subject to the county’s non-proratable $100 out-of-state plates tax and a penalty of $250 assessed annually.
To calculate the tax on an item assessed at value (for example $5,000), divide the assessed value by 100 and then multiply by the tax rate: The current tax rate is $4.57 per $100 of assessed value.
($5,000 ÷ 100) × $4.57 = $228.50
No. There is no longer any local registration decal to purchase or display; however, all town residents (Herndon, Clifton, and Vienna) are still liable to pay each town's annual Local Vehicle Registration Fee. Fairfax County collects the local registration fee on behalf of the towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna.
The majority of Vehicle ("Car") Tax bills are mailed in the summer and are due by October 5.
For vehicles bought or located in the county on or after July 1, bills are mailed in January of the following year and payment is due by February 15.
If a payment date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or county holiday, the due date is the following business day.
See our Tax Payments pages for more information on how you can pay your taxes.
DTA may also sell vehicles and certain business equipment at public auction for the collection of delinquent taxes. If you have questions or would like to be added to a potential bidders list for personal property public auctions, please send your contact information to DTA's Revenue Collection Division. Vehicles and equipment currently scheduled for Public Auction.